Will Manuel's Scare Tactics Work?

Michael GanciCorrespondent IApril 25, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 13:  Mike Pelfrey #34 of the New York Mets looks on against the San Diego Padres on April 13, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced Shea Stadium as the Mets home field.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

After the debacle in St. Louis, Jerry Manuel hinted very strongly that changes may be in order if something doesn’t change soon. In this post, I take a look at what these changes may be, and whether or not I think these changes would have a good fit on the Mets. Let’s start from the top.


1) Promote Jonathan Niese in favor of Livan Hernandez

Reaction: Considering how I have been in favor of Niese seen spring training, I would absolutely love it if the Mets threw the southpaw into the fire. I don’t think Livan will get claimed, and the Mets can stash him away in Triple A. Also, Livan could be that missing link from the bullpen. We all know he has the ability to eat up innings, and that could be more important for the success of this team out of the bullpen.

2) Switch Luis Castillo and Daniel Murphy in the order

Reaction: If you asked me this question in February, I would have said no in a second. But after seeing the shape Castillo reported to camp, and how well he has excelled out of the gate, he belongs in the top of the lineup. Murphy would help bolster the bottom of the order, which seems to need the help more than the top.

3) Release Gary Sheffield

Reaction: Truthfully, I think this has a serious chance of happening soon, and the timing doesn’t make much sense to me. The move in itself was a bit of a question mark to me, but even though his average is dreadful, Sheffield has been smoking the ball recently. Yesterday, he hit a ball that would have been a homer in Shea, and against the Cardinals, he was robbed twice. If you are going to cut him, throw Church and Murphy back in there and show some faith in them.

4) Send John Maine or Mike Pelfrey to the minors

Reaction: This is purely a scare tactic, and I like it. If Manuel actually follows through with this, it may be the beginning of the end for him. Pelfrey and Maine may be his two best starters not named Santana. They both have started the season in rocky fashion, and the only way either of them is going anywhere but the major league team is if they are not healthy, which I worry about when it comes to both of them. Hopefully, they will both right the ship and Manuel will not have to make a drastic move at all.

5) Start Johan Santana every day

Reaction: Okay, you got me. I made that one up. While Santana’s arm would likely fall off, it could be better than having Livan Hernandez throw underhanded to Albert Pujols or having Oliver Perez forget how to pitch. Maybe if they invent some mechanical arm that fits with Santana, he could make it work. You know he would be up to the challenge.

It should be an interesting week in Mets’ land.